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  #91  
Old 03-11-2011
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Post Official NOAA Booklet Charts free online link

I looked through this thread but did not see mention of the NOAA link to their charts that have been formatted for easy printing into a book form. Can be done doublesided. Boat/US published a story about this a while back. Main page lets you select chart lists by region and includes print help. They describe this service as 'experimental'.

Office of Coast Survey

I have not actually used it yet since I don't need the charts until later this year. Suppose it's not as convenient as large charts but the price is right. If it works for you please let me know.
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  #92  
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So, I'm guessing you took the raster images from NOAA and converted them to PNG via a converter you found?

I'm curious what you printed these images on. An 8.5x11 wouldn't produce any usable map since the image is so large, so you would need to send to a printer which - how much does that cost relative to buying a waterproof map at a store?

I'm really just asking if you have found this to be cost effective; no dis-respect.
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  #93  
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Reply to question about chart books

As stated in my last post, I have not tried printing yet. I think the idea of this NOAA experiment is that you simply hit the print button and get an 8x11 format complete with front cover and page numbers.

Obviously it is not as convenient as a sigle sheet chart, but would be a lot better than nothing. Would be current. One could use water resistant paper if you know where to find it.

I'm thinking if you are motoring up the ICW, for example, and you had this chart book convenient it might be a way to doublecheck the accuracy of your chart plotter data or to use as a backup during power or equipment failure without buying the charts.

There is a lot of highly technical software technology vernacular being thrown about in this thread. In spite of my 30 years of working in the electronics field(mostly PCB mfg and repair) I find all this talk about format and conversions over my head. Many of us computer users have no interest in or patience with the software world as hobby and leave it to the software geeks. I'd rather learn more about sailing and cruising than software manipulations. No disrespect intented, just explaining my approach to chart data.
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  #94  
Old 03-15-2011
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Believe me, it's great!

Quote:
Originally Posted by PopeyeGordon View Post
I looked through this thread but did not see mention of the NOAA link to their charts that have been formatted for easy printing into a book form. Can be done doublesided. Boat/US published a story about this a while back. Main page lets you select chart lists by region and includes print help. They describe this service as 'experimental'.
The "experimental" booklet is exactly what I used to print chart #18649 (Entrance to SF Bay). Printed it in color off my laptop at Kinkos (I don't have a color printer). It prints on single sided 8.5 X 11 pages with numbers that relate to a "Approximate page index" which shows a reduced version of the entire chart. I'm not exactly a "Techie" so it's not difficult. I bought a plastic binder at Kinkos which stores the chart pages in clear enclosure pages. I put the chart pages back to back in the clear enclosure pages, according to ascending index number. I put the "index page" in the front of the book (this is key to the system). I've used it several times, and it is extremely handy. I find the area I want to look at on the index (cover page of the binder). Find the page number, and go to it. The page tells me everything I need to know about a fairly large (Approximately 36 square nautical mile) area. The binder keeps the pages dry, and I don't have a big chart unrolled in the cockpit, or on the table . Would I use it for long range navigation? No. However, in the bay or along the Coast, I find it invaluable! Including the binder, the whole thing cost less than $15 (and I assume most people have a color printer by now!). So, as far as I'm concerned NOAA, the experiment worked!

Last edited by L124C; 03-15-2011 at 05:08 PM.
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  #95  
Old 03-18-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Capslock118 View Post
So, I'm guessing you took the raster images from NOAA and converted them to PNG via a converter you found?

I'm curious what you printed these images on. An 8.5x11 wouldn't produce any usable map since the image is so large, so you would need to send to a printer which - how much does that cost relative to buying a waterproof map at a store?

I'm really just asking if you have found this to be cost effective; no dis-respect.
I wrote the program to convert the .bsb files to .png. You're absolutely right -- 8.5x11 is too small to read a chart. I have a 13x19 printer that will print charts that are barely big enough to read. For me, it's a useful backup to electronic charts when I'm going a long way and probably won't need the charts.

Alternatively, several applications will print large charts "tiled", or in pieces, on small printers. It's more convenient to use a larger chart if you have access to a large printer, and like you say, it may be better to buy one if you're going to be using it very much.
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Old 03-18-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PopeyeGordon View Post
Office of Coast Survey

I have not actually used it yet since I don't need the charts until later this year. Suppose it's not as convenient as large charts but the price is right. If it works for you please let me know.
I took a look at this, and it looks really good. You only get the charts in 8.5x11 size, but it's in a handy format with enough overlap to be usable. And if that's the only printer size you have access to, it's perfect.

They are in standard .pdf files, so you can print them on just about any computer, or save them on your computer and view them when you're offline.
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Old 04-04-2011
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I found some open source software for converting the full size NOAA charts that are online and wrote up an article on how to download, convert, edit, charts. The cool thing is that you can make a chart for just the area you sail in. For example, my boat is at the border of two NOAA charts. Now I can print a chart of my area that overlaps these two charts and leaves off the parts of the charts I never visit.
Charts

While there, check out the weather tab if you have not done so already. Also, lots of engine manuals and other stuff in the reference tab.

Allen
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  #98  
Old 04-13-2011
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Originally Posted by allene222 View Post
I found some open source software for converting the full size NOAA charts
I had a little trouble with bsb2png on some of the charts, so I wrote this one.

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Old 05-12-2011
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To the OP, thanks a million. If we ever cross wakes, the beers are on me.
I have, well work has, a HP DesignJet 450C inkjet plotter that uses rolls of paper 24 inches wide. When I print some charts the text on the legend, compass rose and notes are impossible to read. I don't know if resolution is lost during the conversion from bsb to png to plotter lingo of HPGL. Any ideas?

Jer
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  #100  
Old 05-13-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Captainmeme View Post
To the OP, thanks a million. If we ever cross wakes, the beers are on me.
I have, well work has, a HP DesignJet 450C inkjet plotter that uses rolls of paper 24 inches wide. When I print some charts the text on the legend, compass rose and notes are impossible to read. I don't know if resolution is lost during the conversion from bsb to png to plotter lingo of HPGL. Any ideas?

Jer
BSB is a compressed raster format as is png but png is lossless so you are unlikely to have any problem there unless you change resolutions. HPGL is a vector language so you are dependent on the translation there. My suggestion is that you edit (crop) the png file so that you can print just the compass rose on a raster printer (inkjet or laser) so you know if that file is OK. If it is, they you would need to find another way to do the conversion to HPGL. If it isn't, then look the other way.

Allen
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